Bobby Kristina Brown's partner Nick Gordon was held "legally responsible" for her death and was ordered to pay $36 million to her family.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on September 8, 2020. It has since been updated.
Whitney Houston's death had shocked her fans, who had only hoped that she would one day be able to face her demons and get sober. She was only 48 when she died in February 2012 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and left her daughter as the sole heir. The Bodyguard actress was found in a bathtub and the report issued by the Los Angles County Coroner’s Office stated the official cause of death was an accidental drowning. Her heart disease and cocaine were contributing factors.
She was a bright star who had mesmerized the world with her lovely voice. However, her star dimmed too fast. When she was alive, she and her ex-husband Bobbi Brown had been enmeshed in many rumors, which started just a few years after their marriage in 1992. The couple went on to have a child, Bobbi Kristina Brown, who tragically died three years after her mother died.
The strangest part of her daughter's untimely demise was that she died eerily like her. The cause of her death was ruled as drowning in a bathtub and drug intoxication, just like her mother, according to AJC.
Kristina was found in her bathtub on January 31, 2015, by her longtime partner, Nick Gordon. She was rushed to the hospital but she never regained consciousness. She died on July 26, 2015.
"The underlying cause of death is the condition which starts the downhill course of events leading to death and in this case is the immersion associated with drug intoxication," the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office said in a statement. "The autopsy alone could not reveal the underlying cause of death because of the long interval between Ms. Brown being found unresponsive in the bathtub and her eventual death. Thus, the underlying cause of death is based substantially on review of medical records, the results of toxicology tests, investigative records, and the fact that the autopsy did not show any other likely underlying cause of death or reason for Ms. Brown becoming unresponsive," the statement said.
A mix of marijuana, alcohol (ethanol), benzoylecgonine (a cocaine-related substance), benzodiazepines (medications used for sedation or to treat anxiety), and morphine were found in her system. "It could not be determined from toxicology tests whether the morphine resulted from heroin use. The other question which arises is manner of death. In other words, did death result from natural causes such as disease, an intentional act such as suicide or homicide, an unintentional cause (accident), or in an undetermined manner when a more specific manner of death cannot be established," the report said.
Gordon was held responsible for Kristina's death. He was present during both Kristina and Houston's death, according to Global News. In September 2016, a judge ruled that Gordon was "legally responsible" after failing to show up for a hearing. He was accused by Kristina's court-appointed conservator Bedelia Hargrove for her death.
Houston reportedly left immense wealth, which was in a trust, to her only child, who would have received the first part of the money when she turned 21, the second at 25, and the balance on her 30th birthday. Trustees were also permitted to withdraw money to pay for Kristina's education, the purchase of a home, or to start a business, according to the Guardian.
Kristina was only 22 when she passed away and she had reportedly faced enough heartbreak since her mother's death. Besides wrongful death, Gordon was also accused of assault and battery in addition to transferring her money without authorization. He ignored the civil suit for months and was finally ordered by a Fulton County judge to pay her family $36 million for her wrongful death, as per USA Today. In death, she may have found some peace. She was laid to rest next to her mother at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, New Jersey, according to NJ.com.
The tragedy didn't end there. On January 1, 2020, Gordon died at the age of 30, his lawyer revealed to LATimes. Attorney Joe Habachy of Atlanta didn't reveal the cause of death but said, "It’s been truly heartbreaking to have witnessed first hand the total devastation that drug addiction has wreaked upon a group of young friends, all of whom were loved and had immense potential."